Torres makes third Olympic squad; Obiena fails again to qualify for Rio

MANILA, Philippines – The International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF), track and field's world ruling body, has granted the Philippines' request to have Marestella Torres included in the Rio Olympics, the president of the Philippine track and field body said.

Philip Juico, in a text message to, said the IAAF approved it "3 or 4 days after I emailed them on April 28, a Thursday."

"The IAAF responded pretty fast. They notified POC (Philippine Olympic Committee) and the PATAFA (Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association) at the same time," said Juico.

Torres, who failed to crack the Olympic qualifying mark of 6.70 meters, made her third Olympic team after PATAFA used the universality clause. This meant that if a country had a qualified male athlete, it could ask the IAAF to allow it to field a female athlete.

Ernest John Obiena, who is chasing an Olympic berth, failed to qualify as he turned in a leap of 5.25 meters in placing second at the pole vault in the Taiwan Open. Obiena, who has cracked his own Philippine record 10 times to reach 5.55 meters since last year, faltered in his bid to clear 5.35 meters.

"His upper body caught the crossbar on the way down," said national coach Jojo Posadas, who was one of the 3 Philippine coaches in the Taiwan meet, in a phone interview with

Obiena's silver medal was one of 4 won by the Philippines in Taiwan. Two silvers were won by Immanuel Camino in the 3,000m steeplechase (9:16.84) and 5,000m (15:26.88), one from Harry Diones in the triple jump (15.75 meters). Evelyn Palabrica took third in the women's javelin ( 45.92m).

A schedule miscommunication cost Donovont Arriola a potential medal in the men's long jump. Posadas said Arriola had no time to warm up properly as the entries were made to line up for their first jumps. Arriola, third in the 2015 SEA Games, only leapt 7.02 meters. –